Denis to Atléti?

Germán Denis has heard there are fewer dogs in Madrid than there are in Mar del Plata, clearly. The Independiente marksman, who for a long time during the Apertura looked like he was going to beat Martín Palermo’s record of 20 goals in a single short tournament campaign, looks like he’s setting off for the Spanish capital soon, where he’ll join fellow Argentines Leo Franco, Maxi Rodríguez and Sergio Agüero at Atlético. At least, if a couple of small matters such as an actual concrete offer can be sorted out…

Both club presidents have denied that it’s a done deal, and even Denis’s agent, Leo Rodríguez, insists that no offer has been made, and yet still the rumours keep coming. ‘If he goes,’ manager Pedro Troglio said, ‘it will be hard. But all the same we can fight for the championship. If he stays, the supporters are going to have very high hopes for the next six months.’

Troglio also lamented the collapse of the transfer to the club of Chilean forward Humberto Suazo. ‘He was my plan B,’ admitted the coach. The status of Atlético’s offer may not be entirely clear, but these statements do make it seem rather like Troglio isn’t massively hopeful of keeping his star man, who at 26 can’t wait as long as some of Argentina’s younger exports might be advised to before making the move to Europe.

Things may become clearer on Tuesday – but then the way January’s gone for Denis so far, with a dog-bite to the backside, a fight in a training session with a member of Independiente’s youth side, and now the apparent collapse of Atléti’s first bid for him, who’d bet on everything going his way?

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